HOW CAN A DOULA ENHANCE A BIRTH MOTHER’S EXPERIENCE AT THE HOSPITAL?
Ballen and Fulcher (2006) found ”staff in maternity-care facilities are seeing an increase in doulas, nonmedical childbirth assistants, who are trained to provide continuous physical, emotional, and informational labor support. According to Hodnett et al (2003) women were less likely to have medical intervention during labor and delivery with the ongoing presence of a doula divulging that ongoing continuous support should be the norm in our society (Ballen et. Al 2006). Throughout history women supported other woman during labor. Only in recent history have women been left to birth alone in cold hospital settings. It is important to recognize that nurses provide medical care, while doulas provide emotional support and physical comfort measures such as massage during labor. “The goal of the nurse is to ensure a safe outcome; the goal of the doula is to ensure that the woman feels safe and confident”(Ballen et al. 2006).
Birth mothers could benefit from having doulas present that have received psychoeducation about the adoption process within the hospital setting. “Doulas can be both advocates who help women voice their needs and desires and allies of the medical facility”(Ballen et al. 2006). Having a doula present for birth mothers can allow the birth mother to feel in control of her labor and can also ensure that her hospital plan is followed. Creating intimacy for birthmothers is particularly important. Having a doula present at your birth, especially if you are planning an adoption for your child, allows one more person to advocate for you and make sure your needs and wishes are met.